Fresh Italian Whites that aren’t Pinot Grigio!
It seems like the females of this world have gone mad for Pinot Grigio; but, there’s so much more to Italian whites. so says Whitefriar Grill's Sommelier Vera O'Grady.
We picked three crackers for this month’s flight that range from dry to sweet. Perfect with our Caprese salad and our Hake dishes.
1. Monte Tondo Soave 2015
Poor old Soave has a bit of an image problem. Too many weedy, cheap examples have undermined the reputation of these wines in the eyes of many wine drinkers, frustrating the intentions of serious producers. The increase in the vineyard area, and the consequent move away from hillside sites, when the DOCs were created in 1968 had the effect of catastrophic dilution. Our Soave is from a reputable producer and well made. It’s an example of the value for money you can find in the region of Veneto, north- east Italy.
There’s a soft pressing of the grapes and fermentation in steel tanks under a controlled temperature between 16-18°C.Dry & fresh with hints of citrus, green apple and ripe mango
2. Vesevo Beneventano 2014
Vesevo’s vineyards are located in the Irpinian hills of Campania. Known as the ’Switzerland of the South’, this is potentially one of Italy’s most exciting wine producing areas. The vineyards are situated at between 450-700m above sea level, and are subject to a constant cool breeze that blows off the Bay of Naples. Over the centuries, this same breeze has blown volcanic ash from Vesuvius inland to give the soil here a poor, volcanic character, perfect for winemaking.
The white wines are fermented at New Zealand temperatures (13-14°C), resulting in much purer flavours being captured in the wine, and are definitive examples of their varieties.
Low temperature fermentation has retained the fresh, crisp and aromatic quality of the wine whilst still allowing its character to shine through. Perfumes of white flowers and white melon with mineral notes provide a backdrop to the full, ripe palate. An elegant wine, with a touch of honey on the finish.
3. G.D.Vajra Moscato d’Asti 2015
Moscato is the Italian for Muscat and the name of a sweetish varietal wine style for which there was a fashion for in by-gone years. Since 2011, Moscato d’Asti sales have risen 73% and still rises around 10-15% per year in the US by consumers under the age of 45. Such rise has been attributed to the adoption of Moscato d’Asti as the drink of choice by hip-hop culture since Champagne’s fall from grace. Since Frederic Rouzaud, the managing director of champagne house Louis Roederer’s, fatal mistake of stating “we can’t forbid people from buying it” when he was asked if he thought hip-hop’s “bling culture” hurt the Cristal brand, champagne’s popularity as the drink of choice for hip-hop plummeted. Jay-Z began a boycott against the brand and the Moscato d’Asti craze took over.
The grapes are left to mature on the vine until well-ripe, then hand-picked and sorted. Soft pressing is followed by cold settling. Fermentation lasts for a week in stainless steel tanks at 14°C and there is no skin contact. Unoaked, the wine is held in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks to retain freshness and natural effervescence until bottling.
Pale yellow, with a delicate fizz, persistent and creamy. Aromas of stone fruit – apricots and peach – with citrus, followed by herbal notes. The palate is semi-sweet and lightly sparkling. A soft, fresh mousse expands in the mouth to display a lively peach and apricot character and a clean, fresh finish.